Gepost in: Circulatie

Inotropes and Vasopressors. Review of Physiology and Clinical Use in Cardiovascular Disease

Inotropic and vasopressor agents have increasingly become a therapeutic cornerstone for the management of several important cardiovascular syndromes. In broad terms, these substances have excitatory and inhibitory actions on the heart and vascular smooth muscle, as well as important metabolic, central nervous system, and presynaptic autonomic nervous system effects. They are generally administered with the assumption that short- to medium-term clinical recovery will be facilitated by enhancement of cardiac output (CO) or vascular tone that has been severely compromised by often life-threatening clinical conditions. The clinical efficacy of these agents has been investigated largely through examination of their impact on hemodynamic end points, and clinical practice has been driven in part by expert opinion, extrapolation from animal studies, and physician preference. Our aim is to review the mechanisms of action of common inotropes and vasopressors and to examine the contemporary evidence for their use in important cardiac conditions.

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Christopher B. Overgaard, MD; Vladimír Dzavík, MD


DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.728840